B-139527, MAY 28, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 800

B-139527: May 28, 1959

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INSOFAR AS THOSE EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE TRAINING ACT ARE CONCERNED. SINCE SECTION 19 (B) DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS BE LIMITED TO CERTAIN TYPES OF MEETINGS WHICH ARE APPROVED BY SPECIFIED OFFICIALS AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT. THESE RESTRICTIONS ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES COVERED BY THE TRAINING ACT. 1959: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 4. PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: HEREAFTER ANY APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE TO ANY DEPARTMENT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WHICH ARE CONCERNED WITH THE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE OR WHICH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO IMPROVED CONDUCT.

B-139527, MAY 28, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 800

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - MEETINGS - SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT THE ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS PROVISION IN SECTION 19 (B) OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2318 (B), DISPENSES WITH THE NECESSITY FOR SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS REQUIRED BY SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, 5 U.S.C. 83, INSOFAR AS THOSE EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE TRAINING ACT ARE CONCERNED; AND SINCE SECTION 19 (B) DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS BE LIMITED TO CERTAIN TYPES OF MEETINGS WHICH ARE APPROVED BY SPECIFIED OFFICIALS AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, THESE RESTRICTIONS ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES COVERED BY THE TRAINING ACT.

TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, MAY 28, 1959:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 4, 1959, FROM MR. W. J. MCNEIL, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHAT EXTENT SECTION 19 (B) OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, PUBLIC LAW 85- 507, 72 STAT. 327, 5 U.S.C. 2318 (B), AFFECTS SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, PUBLIC LAW 179, APPROVED AUGUST 1, 1953, 67 STAT. 349, 5 U.S.C. 174A, IN ORDER THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT MAY PROPERLY IMPLEMENT THE ABOVE-CITED PROVISIONS OF LAW RELATIVE TO ATTENDANCE OF MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL AT MEETINGS.

SECTON 19 (B) OF PUBLIC LAW 85-507, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

HEREAFTER ANY APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE TO ANY DEPARTMENT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WHICH ARE CONCERNED WITH THE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE OR WHICH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO IMPROVED CONDUCT, SUPERVISION, OR MANAGEMENT OF THOSE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES.

SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, WHICH IS APPLICABLE TO BOTH MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, PROVIDES:

HEREAFTER, APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AVAILABLE FOR TRAVEL SHALL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF TECHNICAL, SCIENTIFIC, PROFESSIONAL, OR OTHER SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED, OR HIS DESIGNEE FOR THE PURPOSE.

OUR OPINION ON THE FOLLOWING MATTERS IS REQUESTED:

1. DOES SECTION 19 (B) OF PUBLIC LAW 85-507, SUPERSEDE, OR IN ANY WAY AFFECT, SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, WITH RESPECT TO THE ATTENDANCE OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AT ALL TYPES OF MEETINGS?

2. IF THE PRECEDING QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, DO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, STILL APPLY TO " * * * THE ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WHICH ARE CONCERNED WITH THE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE OR WHICH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO IMPROVED CONDUCT, SUPERVISION, OR MANAGEMENT OF THOSE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES?

SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, 37 STAT. 184, 5 U.S.C. 83, PROVIDES:

NO MONEY APPROPRIATED BY ANY ACT SHALL BE EXPENDED FOR MEMBERSHIP FEES OR DUES OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ANY SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION OR FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE OF ANY PERSON AT ANY MEETING OR CONVENTION OF MEMBERS OF ANY SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION, UNLESS SUCH FEES, DUES, OR EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID BY SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUCH PURPOSES OR ARE PROVIDED FOR IN EXPRESS TERMS IN SOME GENERAL APPROPRIATION.

SECTIONS 3./3) AND 4./A) (6) OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2302 (3) AND 2303 (A) (6), LIMIT APPLICATION OF THE ACT TO CIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT. SO FAR AS CIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES, THEREFORE, ARE CONCERNED, THE RESTRICTION OF SECTON 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, AGAINST EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED MONIES FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WITHOUT SPECIFIC PROVISION THEREFOR IN APPROPRIATION ACTS IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE GENERAL AUTHORITY FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES CONTAINED IN SECTION 19 (B).

IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT REPEALS OR MODIFICATIONS OF STATUTES BY IMPLICATION ARE NOT FAVORED. HOWEVER, WHERE STATUTES IN QUESTION CONTAIN PROVISIONS WHICH ARE REPUGNANT AND ARE IN IRRECONCILABLE CONFLICT AND WHERE THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATURE TO REPEAL OR MODIFY IS CLEAR AND MANIFEST, THE OLD LAW IS REPEALED OR MODIFIED BY IMPLICATION TO THE EXTENT OF THE REPUGNANCY. UNITED STATES V. BORDEN CO., 308 U.S. 188; HENRIETTA MINING AND MILLING CO. V. GARDNER, 173 U.S. 123; UNITED STATES V. TYNEN, 20 L. ED. 153.

THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2301 NOTE, CONSOLIDATED INTO ONE COMPREHENSIVE LAW MOST OF THE SPECIAL TRAINING AUTHORITIES THEN IN EXISTENCE. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT SHOWS THAT GENERAL AUTHORITY FOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO ATTAINMENT OF THE OBJECTIVES OF THE ACT AND THAT SECTION 19 (B) WAS INCLUDED THEREIN SPECIFICALLY TO CLARIFY AND BROADEN SUCH AUTHORITY FOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS AS PREVIOUSLY EXISTED. SEE PAGES 72, 77, 99, AND 110 OF HEARINGS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ON H.R. 6001, H.R. 1989 AND S. 385, MAY 15; JUNE 13, 16, 1958. ALTHOUGH THE TRAINING ACT DOES NOT REPEAL OR MODIFY SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF 1912 IN SPECIFIC TERMS IT IS MANIFEST THAT THE INTENTION OF THE CONGRESS WAS TO REMOVE THE RESTRICTIVE PROVISIONS RELATING TO ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF THAT SECTION WITH REGARD TO THE AGENCIES AND PERSONNEL COVERED BY THE TRAINING ACT. CONTINUED APPLICATION OF THOSE PROVISIONS TO AGENCIES AND PERSONNEL COVERED BY THE ACT WOULD IGNORE RECOGNITION BY THE CONGRESS THAT GENERAL AUTHORITY FOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WAS NECESSARY TO THE ATTAINMENT OF THE OBJECTIVES FOR WHICH THE TRAINING LEGISLATION WAS ENACTED. THEREFORE, APPLYING THE RULES OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION STATED, IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE RESTRICTION AGAINST ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS CONTAINED IN SECTION 8 IS INAPPLICABLE SO FAR AS AGENCIES AND PERSONNEL COVERED BY THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT ARE CONCERNED AND THAT, FOR THOSE AGENCIES AND PERSONNEL, SECTION 19 (B) OF PUBLIC LAW 85-507 DISPENSES WITH THE NECESSITY FOR SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION PROVISIONS AUTHORIZING ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS.

THE NECESSITY FOR SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, AROSE FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, DISCUSSED ABOVE. IN VIEW OF THE CONCLUSION REACHED--- THAT SECTION 19 (B) DISPENSES WITH THE NECESSITY FOR SPECIFIC LEGISLATION OF THIS NATURE FOR AGENCIES AND PERSONNEL COVERED BY THE TRAINING ACT--- AND SINCE YOUR DEPARTMENT IS COVERED, IT IS FURTHER CONCLUDED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 605 ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF YOUR DEPARTMENT. SINCE SECTION 19 (B) DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS BE APPROVED BY ANY SPECIAL OFFICIAL OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED AND THAT SECTON IS CONSIDERED CONTROLLING FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, IT FOLLOWS THAT APPROVAL BY SPECIFIED OFFICIALS OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS IS NOT REQUIRED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED, WITH RESPECT TO THE FIRST QUESTION PRESENTED, THAT SO FAR AS ATTENDANCE OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AT ALL TYPES OF MEETINGS IS CONCERNED, SECTION 19 (B) OF PUBLIC LAW 85-507 SUPERSEDES SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954. WITH RESPECT TO THE SECOND QUESTION PRESENTED, WHILE SECTION 605 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, IS NO LONGER CONTROLLING AS TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS REGARDLESS OF THE OBJECTS OR CHARACTER OF THE MEETINGS, THAT SECTION STILL APPLIES TO AND GOVERNS THE CONDITIONS OF ATTENDANCE BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AT MEETINGS.